3 June 2015

Zhiming Chen: Are Chinese Workers Compensated for Occupational Risk?

This study contributes to an important, but under-researched, topic on China by empirically examining the theory of compensating wage differentials for occupational risks in urban labour markets. Drawing on two datasets - one national for all workers and one from the Pearl River Delta for migrant workers - we examine the relationship between wages and occupational risks, and estimate the risk premium for health hazards. The results show that having risky jobs, especially those associated with dust, has a significant negative effect on hourly wages. The negative risk premium accounts for approximately 10 per cent of all workers' hourly wage in safe jobs using the national dataset and 1.8 per cent of migrant workers' hourly wage in safe jobs in the Pearl River Delta. With the national data, males, migrant workers and manual workers incur a wage penalty for exposure to dust, chemical substances, biological hazards and other health hazards. Only urban locals earn a significantly positive wage premium for exposure to chemical substances. We offer several explanations for the negative wage premium in the context of China's urban labour market.

BOFIT seminars
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Please register in advance at bofit@bof.fi or by phone +358 10 831 2268.

Seminar will be held at Rauhankatu 19, 3rd floor seminar room.
Visitors will be escorted from Rauhankatu 19 B (kirjasto bibliotek) entrance to the seminar room.